Knysna ready for the holiday season
Runaway fires that scorched swathes of the Garden Route spared most tourist attractions in Knysna‚ where residents are optimistic about the looming festive season.
The local tourism board is confident that holidaymakers will return to the coastal town‚ despite the destruction witnessed in June.
Knysna & Partners chairperson Elmay Bouwer said most of the tourist attractions in the area were not affected by the fire.
“The Knysna experience will be available to our holidaymakers because 90% of activities were not affected by the fires.
"Although one of Knysna’s biggest tourist attractions‚ Featherbed Nature Reserve‚ suffered severe damage‚ the company’s three restaurants are still fully operational as are the boat cruises on the John Benn‚ Paddle Cruiser and Heads Explorer Catamaran‚” she said.
The picturesque Knysna Waterfront‚ overlooking the Knysna lagoon‚ was also spared when the inferno ripped through the town.
“The popular animal sanctuaries between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay‚ including Knysna Elephant Park‚ Birds of Eden‚ Monkeyland and Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre are all operating as usual. In addition‚ SANParks picnic areas at Jubilee Creek and Diepwalle and the camping sites in Diepwalle are open and unaffected by the fires. Simola‚ Pezula and Knysna Golf Courses are also open‚” said Bouwer.
One of the tourist establishments that was destroyed was the popular Knysna Hollow Hotel - 80 rooms were burnt out. Bouwer said a total of 292 rooms were lost during the fires at various establishments in Knysna.
“There will obviously be less accommodation available in Knysna this year but many people will book in Sedgefield and other places on the Garden Route‚” she said.